Ed Vaizey MP Parish News May 2014
As the summer approaches (we all hope) there are many events being planned across the constituency, most run by volunteers. The government has recently concluded that event guidance was unclear and inconsistent and often focused on what people can’t do rather than what they can. This lack of clear guidance has resulted in an inaccurate perception that it can be near to impossible to run an event without ploughing through masses of red tape. In order to overcome these obstacles, a new, simplified set of guidance has been put together, which can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/can-do-guide-for-organisers-of-voluntary-events . This provides straightforward advice to help anyone planning to run an event and is well-worth looking at.
If your idea is a bit broader than a single event, then you might also want to take a look at www.justact.org.uk, where lots of advice about how to get involved in all sorts of ideas, plans and projects locally can be found on one website. Both sites will be an enormous help both to those who are already involved in all sorts of things and those who are just dipping their first toe in the waters.
Those are excellent supports for adults, but my final signpost this month is for younger constituents. We have armed forces cadet units across the Constituency, and I recently learned that there are Army Cadet Units in Didcot, Shrivenham, Wallingford and Wantage. All parade on a Wednesday evening at 7.30 pm, and all provide young people from the ages of 12 to 18 with a fantastic opportunity to develop in all sorts of ways. As well as adventure training and Duke of Edinburgh awards, there are opportunities to travel and learn a huge range of skills. If you’d like more information, do visit www.armycadets.com or call them on 01869 259681.
This month I have received many emails from constituents wanting to know what action the Government is taking to ensure that the Public Forest Estate (PFE) is on a sustainable footing for the future. Other issues raised range from the use of wild animals in circuses to energy policy in the UK. As a society, we must never underestimate the value of trees and woodlands. I am therefore delighted that England’s PFE will remain in public ownership, and that finding is to be maintained. Longer term, the Government is committed to setting up a new public body to hold the PFE for the nation. This body will have greater independence from government, and greater freedom to manage its resources and maximise income.
A number of constituents have welcomed email updates I’ve been able to send about specific issues such as plans for new housing or concerns about the electrification of the railway line. I plan to send occasional emails which I hope will be of general interest. If you would like to receive a copy, please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to the distribution list.
As ever please feel free to contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, 020 7219 6350 or email@example.com. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly. Surgery details can be found at www.vaizey.com.
Ed Vaizey MP